Friday, July 08, 2011
Thanks for the sweet comments on my blogs guys!
Yesterday I was so jet lagged that I could barely finish a sentence. My boss was asking me questions and I had to tell him to ask me later, because I just wasn't following! I got an all natural jet lag pill from the chemist, which helped, but not as much as a good nights sleep!!!
So, I am working heaps over the next month. Waaaaaay more than I usually like. I will manage, but it is looking like it will be a looooooooooong 4 months until graduation!
Things are stressful in the bubble household. I am working everyday until Tuesday. My mum, who is still recovering from her operation, is being run ragged looking after my grandpa (dad's dad) with a broken knee. He is so demanding, and just expects us all to drop everything to run him around to his errands. He just doesn't understand that we all work fulltime. When my mum said that she couldn't come around until Saturday to take him to the barber/bank/drycleaner etc he said "Oh, Jess and Russell don't do much, send one of them". Frustrating, since I work 5 days a week at the moment and Russell works 6. Obviously if it was an emergency, or he needed food we would be round to help, but it is just stuff he WANTS to do. We would be more happy to help if he was at all grateful. And now grandad (mums dad) is sick and mums family are on her case for not helping more! Its not like she has time! She wants to help with her dad, but grandpa has no one else and is very demanding, grandad has another daughter who can help him. And I just feel useless because I work all day and they are both settled for the night by the time I could go and see them.
Sigh. Not much I can do, but just wanted to vent!
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
OK, so part 1 didn't break my computer. This is good news! Are we all still interested? Are we all having a good time? Are we all jeleous? :D
Day Three was Sunday. Let me tell you about Sundays in the Cook Islands. Nothing is open. The resorts are, obviously, and a few corner stores are (and a few places run by expat kiwis!) but other than that the island is closed for the day. So we had to make our own fun!
We biked around the inner road of the island. In Raro there are 2 main roads, the main road, which follows the ocean, and the back road which has been used for nearly 1000 years. The back road is very different from the main road. It is 1 lane most of the way, and you are plunged into rainforest. It is mainly used by locals, and that is where a lot of their houses are located. Because it is so old there are a few historical sites, a few Pa's and Maraes scattered around.
We went back to Muri for lunch.
The place we went to is run by an exkiwi, and a friend of my workmate. She got a shipping container, painted it, added a stove and running water and runs the islands best sandwich shop from it.
Only when you are on holiday is it OK to eat a sandwich so big it needs to be held together with a skewer. Freshly caught tuna with salad and lime mayo on fresh turkish bread. I want one right now!
Then we pottered back to the resort, stopping for a few photos
OK, this is morbid, but hear me out as to why this is on here. There are random graves scattered all over. And not just in cemetaries either. Most houses will have a couple of graves out the front by the road. In the Cook Islands land cannot be sold or purchased, only leased for up to 60 years. So, when a family member died they get buried in the front yard, because that land will always belong to the family anyways. Some of the graves are very old and run down, and some are nicer than the houses!
We went to dinner at the pizza place at the end of our resorts driveway. It was cheap, which is good because it was awful! The pizza tasted like cheese on cardboard. Yucky!
Our last day in Raro. We got up early because I was visiting a school. Turns out they had completely forgotten I was coming. Never to mind, because in true Rarotongan hospitality the principal showed me around anyway! The school was tiny, only 76 kids in 5 classrooms. They spoke Cook Islands Maori until 8 years old, so I was a bit lost in the younger classes. The youngest class sung me a song and a rhyme they had been learning, which was so adorable I could hardly stand it. The older class, who spoke English, let me have a chat with them about who I was and why I was there visiting them. They all seemed very keen for me to live in the Cook Islands and be a teacher there! Can't say I would hate it....
We went for a ride up to Wigmores Waterfall. It was underwhelming. And so we interupted a drug deal or something, so we snapped a few pics and took off. The waterfall was down a road that had been all but abandoned, and there were empty buildings. It was a bit creepy, if I'm honest!
The next part is my favourite part of the whole trip!
At Muri, there are 3 islands about 100 metres off from shore. They are covered with trees and are very sheltered, and for $10 you can get a water taxi (read small motorboat) to take you to an island. For as long as you want. So we did that. And for an hour we had our own island and lagoon all to ourselves, and it was wonderful. It was so calm and warm because the sea winds were blocked by the trees. After an hour a boatload of tourists came along (the boat tours stop off on the island for lunch and a lesson on husking coconuts). But for that hour we felt like celebs, on our own little island!
View of Raro from the island
Time on the island
With much protest we headed back to the resort. We spent the rest of the afternoon chillin' at the resort, reading our books and soaking up as much sun as we could.
We went out to dinner one last time, and headed back to the resort. We got some sleep because our flight didn't leave until 1am. We packed up, went to the airport and flew home. Arrived at 3am NZ time to 6C and rain. Sigh. We'll go back, and I recommend everyone goes if they can. It was an amazing trip and one I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, except maybe a different credit card balance!
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Kia Orana! I am back from the beautiful and amazing Rarotonga. We had the best time and 4 days wasn't long enough. We packed a lot of swimming, snorkling, eating, sightseeing, poolside lounging and sleeping into the 4 days. I will warn you now, this is long and picture full. I may need 2 installments.
We were only there 10 minutes before we got lei'd
We headed back to the hotel and got some much needed sleep! The flights into Raro are at very odd hours. We got in at midnight, and left at 1am. Madness, I tell you!
Woke up and chilled outside our room while Russell got ready. We had a garden room with a nice view. The ocean was only 50m away and I could hear it loud and clear every morning!
We ate our breakfast and went for a walk around the resort while we waited for the bus to take us to town.
In town we picked up our ride for the 4 days.
We both got our Cook Islands drivers licences so we could both drive it. I thought
Russell would be the main driver but he HATED it and I ended up driving 75% of the time. I loved driving it and didn't mind at all.
Helments are optional in Raro, and while we got them we didn't use them.
Naughty, we know. Its kinda like how in Singapore you don't have to wear a seatbelt in the backseat of a car. You know you still should, but while in Rome... (Or Raro, or Singapore for that matter)
We biked around the island, with a destination in mind: Muri Beach. The pictures don't do it justice. This is without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The water is clear and bright, the sun was shining. Magical.
We headed back to the room and changed for the beach. The resort we were at was on a snorkling beach with heaps of coral reef and different tropical fish. It was amazing!
Post snorkling cocktail by the beach.
The island is pretty small and we were only 5K from town so we headed out for dinner. We had an amazing seafood platter, which is a must if you are on a tropical island!
I'll be honest. We did next to nothing on day two. We got up early and went to the markets and did some shopping, but it was a wildly overpriced tourist trap. I got a necklace and a bracelet, and Russell got a shirt. I was also not feeling too good (lack of sleep and water) so we headed back to the resort where we spent most of the day in our room asleep. We napped on and off for about 5 hours, only getting up to have lunch. We needed that rest! In the afternoon I moved my napping to under a palm tree.
That evening we were booked in at the resort for their cultural night. This included a buffet dinner and a show. The food was OK, and the show was good. They had overbooked though, and tried to sit us at a table with 2 other people. As nice as I'm sure they were I was there to spend time with my boyfriend, not strangers. I complained to the manager (we should have been told upon booking that we would be required to sit with other people, which was my main issue. Also, I get 4 days this year of undivided time with my boyfriend. You bet I'm gonna get selfish about it!) who set us up a small table at the back, but allowed us to move near the front for the show.
The sexy men
The cutie pie kids group
The dress I loved, but the photo I hate. I was slouching to fit under Russell's arm (he is only 2 inches taller) I look odd.
Stay tuned for days three and four!!!
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